Spring Kayak Safety: Over 100 Drowning Related Deaths in 2018

The temperatures are slowly climbing here in Northern Michigan, but don’t let those warmer temps fool you. The water is still freezing cold.

If you’re planning to take a dip before the temperatures warm up, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind. 

Safety is not a fashion statement.

Michael Gray with Uncommon Adventures and the ACA Coastal Kayak, SUP and Canoe Director says it’s important to dress in layers and never wear cotton.

“Cotton absorbs too much water and this passes it through,” Gray says.

Next are performance layers like leggings to provide insulation. Then acting as the shell to keep you dry and comfortable is the dry suit.

“Your dry suit keeps the wind chill and factors way down,” Gray says.

Gloves and a beanie or hat are also necessary to keep you safe if you flip over and go into the water.

Although all of this gear is strongly recommended, a life jacket is a necessity.

In 2018 alone there were more than 100 drowning related deaths, according to The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

Gray says, “It’s kind of expensive, but what’s your life worth?”

After getting geared up, Michael Gray took reporter Madison Gardner out onto a Kayak.

This is where they put the gear to the test and did a rescue demonstration.

The first thing to look at when heading out onto the water with a kayak is if it is made for recreation on lakes or rivers, or made for open water.

The difference between the two is the sealed air chamber for open water. This allows the kayak to be flipped back over and not sink.

Michael Gray demonstrated a T rescue. This takes place when you’re off shore and cannot comfortably swim. If you want more information on the ACA, click here. 


Categories: the four